06 Jun

Rainy Sunday Long Overdue Update

What it looks like outside right now

It’s a very rainy Sunday here in Nottingham, England. (It is raining in the picture above, but you can’t see it.) We haven’t updated here in quite some time. I have occasionally blogged over at my blog, and Tiana has had the more interesting occasional updates on her blog as well. We just haven’t really thought to update this one, where it would make more sense to update people on what we’re up to. Enough apologies for now.

Much has happened since we’ve moved to Nottingham. Tiana has secured a very good job at Framework, “a┬áhomelessness charity providing housing, support, training, care and resettlement services,” which is based in Nottingham. I have been plugging away at my PhD research. I haven’t produced any chapters yet (that will happen in the 2010-11 year!), but I have been steadily churning out bits of writing for my superviser as well as for three different conferences I attended and presented at in the months of March – May of 2010.

Assuming the position.

In August 2009 we moved to a different part of Nottingham called Beeston. It is much closer to the University–about a 20-minute walk. As a result, I have done much more walking on a weekly basis, to and from campus, as well as walking with Tiana on a regular basis into the ‘high road’ area of Beeston to do shopping in the various charity shops, grocery shopping, and making visits to the coffee shops to get reading done.

Stef & Jeremy's wedding! Great kiss, amazing dress! Fantastic friends!

In addition to making a visit to the States in March-April to witness the marriage of our friends Stef & Jeremy (pictured above), we have also had an exciting time welcoming many of our friends and family who have visited us. In March, Tiana’s brother Stephen and his wife Shannon, Jenn Tracy, and my colleague Jeff Olsen Biebighauser at various overlapping stages; in April shortly after arriving back from the States (and narrowly missing the annoyance of the Icelandic volcano!), our friends Gwen and Davy stopped by; and in May, Stef and Jeremy came and visited us as part of their honeymooning to Europe. It is always welcome to visit our respective homes in California (San Diego, Merced, and Concord) but it is also refreshing to have a bit of ‘home’ come visit us as well.

It is always nice to spend time together in the evenings. Before, when I was working on my MA, I was also working full time, so we had very little time to ourselves. But now I just read and think hard all day long, and then when Tiana gets home, we tend to watch a lot of television shows–at this point still mostly American fare like The Wire, LOST, Firefly, Freaks & Geeks, Fringe, FlashForward, Parks and Recreation, and we’ve also just started Treme. We’ve completed or caught up to all the above shows except for Parks & Rec and Treme.

One day when Tiana came home from work I had made her an 'Afternoon Tea' dinner -- she loved it!

Two fun ‘outdoor-sy’ things happened for us in our back garden (what they call back yards here). The first is that we got a six-foot fence installed on the left side of our property. We have some neighbours who are often rather unruly, and we were desiring some privacy to better enjoy our garden. We asked our letting agency if they could communicate with the landlord to install one, and they agreed! So that all went in for free, which is basically a miracle if one is familiar with the do-nothing-at-all attitude of most letting agencies here. The second cool thing that very much excited Tiana was that we got a little fire-pit for our back garden, so that we can roast s’mores. Shortly after my 30th birthday while Stef & Jeremy were still visiting, we had a small gathering of Tiana’s friends and co-workers and had a nice time enjoying the warm England weather.

Enjoying our new fire-pit.

That is about it for now. I can still be found on Twitter, where I usually update a few times a week. I have stopped reading about 99% of the blogs I used to read, mainly because of time constraints and lack of interest. It really does suck up a lot of pointless time (depending upon what one reads). On the plus side I feel like I have gained a lot of that time in the reading and especially the writing I have been turning in to my superviser since January, about one or two papers a month. It feels really good to some some real material with which to work.

One last thing before I forget. My superviser’s long-awaited book on Darwin and evolution will be coming out in a few months. We have an announcement for it up here. I am sure I will post about it again once it is released!